Podcast of Blog Entry:
Recently I read an article in the Military Times, an important news source for both active-duty forces and veterans of the United States military, written by Dr. Bret Moore, a psychologist who served two tours of duty in Iraq, as part of his Kevlar for the Mind column that he frequently writes. His article was entitled “Some PTSD Treatment Have Spotty Success.”
I admire Dr. Moore for his honesty and bravery as he describes the challenges still faced by some combat veterans after undergoing standardized treatments such as cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy.
He is right, in my experience, on all accounts: it is not correct to say that standardized treatments are not helpful. For many, they have been and are.
Yet it is also not correct to say that we have even begun fully to explore and to understand what it takes to heal the emotional wounds of War.
I’m not here today to quibble about treatment methods. As always, I’m here to remind combat veterans of the truth that doesn’t need a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to justify its power: combat veterans still have what it takes to do what needs to be done.
What does that mean today? It means: don’t give up on treatments if you’ve tried one way with one person and didn’t find it that helpful. Don’t assume that “this is all there is” after a treatment.
You have what it takes. There are fellow combat veterans out there who also have what it takes. Find them.
You have what it takes to use what your mental health clinicians might provide you. Keep going until you find one who “clicks”
You have what it takes to move beyond anything that any of us in my field can provide—and move forward into a life that does what needs to be done.
I’m committed to finding all the resources I can to help you reclaim what you have. Check out the Resources sections. Check organizations out. Check individuals out.
Don’t give up, on treatment, on improvement, on life. Let’s keep working together, one day at a time.
Please. For your loved one’s sake. For your sake.
Until tomorrow, be well,